Know It All

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Today, we will tackle the difficult to define—and even more difficult to write—Omniscient Point of View.

In this POV, the story is told from the perspective of the narrator, who knows all and sees all.

In this POV, the narrator reveals the actions, thoughts—even the motives—of any and all characters, all the while maintaining a god-like distance.

The narrator is unbiased and simply reports the story. Because of this, writing in the Omniscient POV often ends up in telling—not showing—which, of course, is a writing “no-no.”

Writing in the Omniscient POV is very difficult and has largely fallen into disuse. Many writers who attempt the Omniscient POV are accused of “head hopping” (when a narrator jumps without warning from the perspective of one character into the perspective of another).

In Omniscient POV, the narrator observes the mindsets of the story’s characters. Thus, it is ever so tempting to portray these thoughts in the characters’ voices. But, be warned: no direct thoughts are allowed in this style of POV.

Before trying your hand at Omniscient POV, read several books written in this style. Doing so will give you a good idea of how other authors have tackled it—and if you even enjoy writing that way.

Some books written in the Omniscient POV are: Bleak House by Charles Dickens; The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky; and Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger.

Enjoy challenges? This is one on a grand scale. However, if you master it, I guarantee you will stand out in the crowd.

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